Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Polish employment declined for the first time in more than two years in November as the euro area’s debt crisis slowed the expansion of the European Union’s biggest eastern economy.
Employment growth at companies with more than nine workers fell 0.3 percent after staying at zero between July and October, the Warsaw-based Central Statistical Office said today. That was the first drop since March 2010 and exceeded the median estimate for a 0.2 percent decline in a Bloomberg survey of 22 economists. Hiring fell 0.2 percent from October.
Poland’s economy grew 1.4 percent in three months through September from a year earlier, the slowest pace since the second quarter of 2009. Growth will ease to 1.5 percent next year, the least since 2002 and down from 4.3 percent last year, according to the central bank’s forecast.
Today’s report confirmed the slowdown is deepening “as the euro-area recession worsens local manufacturers’ prospects and the negative impact of a weakening labor market leads to lower consumer demand,” Cezary Chrapek, an economist at Citibank Handlowy in Warsaw, said in an e-mailed note.
Polish manufacturing remained in a downturn for an eighth month in November, HSBC Holdings Plc said Dec. 3. Fiat SpA said four days later that it will eliminate 1,500 jobs in Poland as the European auto market, with Italy’s biggest manufacturer seeking to reduce costs as Europe’s auto market heads toward a 17-year low.
Average gross wages rose 2.7 percent last month from a year earlier after growing an annual 2.8 percent in October, the statistics office said in a separate release. That compares with the 2.9 percent median forecast of 26 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Wages advanced 1.7 percent from October.
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